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Baby's development

  1. #1
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    Baby's development

    My baby girl will complete 5 months next week. She resists being put on her side and starts to cry immediately. While sleeping as well she keeps her head absolutely straight up. While feeding she only turns her head and if I try to turn her entire body she stops feeding and starts crying. I have been putting her on her tummy since she was 3 months and she stays for a maximum of 2 mins before getting tired/ crying. She also prefers to look only towards the right side unless there something very attractive on the left. Her Paed thinks she has a stiff neck muscle called Sternomastoid Tumour which he says is very common so we need not worry. He did not do any investigation to give this diagnosis; it was just based on symptoms which I thought was strange. After my insisting he gave a referral to see a Physiotherapist. I visited 2 of them and they both did not give satisfactory diagnosis as to why she feels uncomfortable being put on the side and prefers to look onto the right side 90% of the times. One of them even said she is way to young feel comfortable on her side or start rolling over. Am I worrying too much without reason??

  2. #2
    mel_g20 is offline Registered User
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    Physio Exercises

    Hello my son had tight kneck muscles on one side - and so from birth preferred to turn his head just one way, especially in sleep. As a result his head became very flat on one side.

    Everyone kept saying it will work itself out, and his head will reshape itself (health nurse in Australia) however by 3 months I was so worried I managed to get him an appointment with a physiotherapist. She gave me some basic exercises to do with him every day, and very soon he could turn his head both ways quite comfortably, and his head shape began to improve. Did the physiotherapist offer you any excercises to do? I am glad I pushed for some help on this. He improved really quickly once we started.

  3. #3
    sherwes is offline Registered User
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    Hi, when my baby was 3 months old he had a distinct preference for looking to the left. I spoke to the health nurse and she said this is quite common. Apparently once a baby has a preference to only look one way, in this case left, the muscles on the left side of their neck can "tighten" such that they then have trouble looking right.
    In the case of my baby it was a case of encouraging him to look the other way gradually so that his neck/shoulder muscles "loosened". The nurse said to make sure to put his toys on the right, speak to him from the right hand side and face him in the cot so that if he looks left he is only looking at the wall.
    After a few weeks he improved a lot and was soon actively looking both ways. I hope this helps.

  4. #4
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    The physiotherapist told me one exercise, to put one palm at the base of her neck and with the other hand move her left hand slowly. She starts to cry when I put my palm under her head so definitely there is something hurting there. What I am worried about is she laying flat on her head all the time and not feeling comfortable being put on either side or not trying to roll over. Her head is flat because of it. Is a 5 month old capable of sleeping on the side and rolling over?

    PS: mel_g20 what exercises did your physiotherapist tell you to do?

  5. #5
    mel_g20 is offline Registered User
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    Exercises

    Hi these are afew I can remember. A bit difficult to explain, but there were quite afew, including the one you mentioned I think.

    1. Pull to sitting from lying down
    2. Lying on tummy with toys at the angle where I wanted his head to turn. He wouldnt enjoy this so she told me lie him on a rolled up towel to prop him up slightly.
    3.Rolling him on top of an exercise ball
    4.Gently pusing his chin/head in the direction he didnt like to turn whilst sitting on my lap, shoulders forward.
    5. A sideways hold, which forced him to use the muscles.
    6. Lying on his back pushing his knees up to his tummy and then a liitle further to stretch his neck muscle
    7. A rolling exercise that strecteched the muscles.
    8. Bouncing on a ball, whilst on my knee, and tilting him so that the bounce stretched the muscles.
    9. Massaging the neck after exercises.

    We had to make sure we always talked to him on the side he wouldnt turn to.

    She also used a mirror alot. So played games where he had to look in the mirror and turn his head to see himself.

    I had to encourage him to sleep on his side. She showed me how to do that too.

    Once we started, I noticed a difference within 2 weeks.

    I was really lucky, this was in Australia, and it only cost me 60HK dollars everytime I saw the physiotherapist. She was really experienced with children.

    To roll over I learnt babies use their neck muscles. If you can encourage any rolling this may be good. They also need a strong neck for sitting.

    Please let me know if I can tell you anything else.

  6. #6
    sunrays is offline Registered User
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    My daughter found it hard to look to the right due to tortocollis. She saw a physiotherapist who said could have done more if we had gone earlier...she was 8 months by then. Gave her exercises to do and it did get better. Since then she has seen an osteopath and Chinese bonesetter and it is much better now...she's 21 months now. Her head was also very flat on one side, but not any more.

  7. #7
    NYCMel is offline Registered User
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    have you tried seeing an osteopath to help loosen her muscles up?

  8. #8
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    I have been doing the exercises that mel_g20 had suggested and there is significant improvement. She easily looks towards her left and is able to spend more time on her tummy. Although she still resists being put on her side and prefers to lie on her back while sleeping. Thanks mel_g20
    Last edited by geomum; 08-04-2008 at 11:38 AM. Reason: spelling error

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